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Baby-shower etiquette question!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a baby-shower etiquette question I need some help with. First I need to give some background I think. One of my good friends just found out that she is pregnant a few weeks ago. The week she and her husband shipped all their belongings to Japan where he will be stationed in a few months.

She isn't leaving till mid September, right after her sister gets married. So she'll be about 5 months by then. Since they shipped all their belongings already before she knew she was pregnant, she doesn't have anything for the baby and the military won't send a second shipment so they will have to buy everything there in Japan. Which she's been told is not a problem.

The problem is that, since it's her first baby, she really does want to have a baby shower before she leaves. I think she really ought to have one, her mother told her she doesn't need to have a shower (her mother didn't even attend the bridal shower I threw for her). Me throwing a shower is just fine, but the problem is gifts. If people buy her things she will have to mail them to Japan. My idea is to have the shower about 3 weeks before her sister's wedding and include something saying something along the lines of asking them not to bring actual gifts and explain that their belongings are already in Japan so they can't take them with them, but if they really want to give them something, money would be the best option (or gift cards they can use on-line, but then there is shipping so I'm not sure about that) but not to feel obligated to give her anything, that we just want to celebrate her upcoming arrival while she is still in the states with us.

Does that sound like an acceptable thing to do? Any other ideas? I really do want her to have a shower. I know not everyone does, but really, they have next to nothing for this baby and I know I want to help them 'set up house' for the baby. I'm soooo bummed I won't be getting tons of toys and clothes for the baby. I do plan on mailing a few things if it's not too expensive. I guess people who really want to mail something later instead of giving a shower gift can, but it's definitely not my place to suggest that! I guess I'm walking a fine line here with it. I really need some thoughts on this one! Please help!
post #2 of 18
I would definitely do something to celebrate her new arrival. Perhaps, instead of "gift cards," get her those pre-paid credit cards (I know Visa and AMEX have them.) That way they can be used all over the world, they can go in to pick out what they want, and not have to worry about shipping!
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnasMom
I would definitely do something to celebrate her new arrival. Perhaps, instead of "gift cards," get her those pre-paid credit cards (I know Visa and AMEX have them.) That way they can be used all over the world, they can go in to pick out what they want, and not have to worry about shipping!
Ohhhh... that's a great idea! You can also use them online as well! You may also want to give her some online gift cards at Babies R Us, or a place like they. They'll ship anywhere
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I didn't think about the pre-paid credit cards! That is a good idea!
post #5 of 18
I think that's a great idea, and a perfectly acceptable thing to do, given the circumstances. I think your friend will really appreciate it as well, just having everyone come and celebrate with her, even if there were no presents!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Pardon me, but I just wanted to bump my own thread to see if some of you who weren't on last night had any oppinions/advice/suggestions! I just want to make sure I don't offend anyone and all that stuff. Thanks!
post #7 of 18
I think you have the right idea.
Her mother doesn't sound very nice-isn't she excited that she is going to be a grandmother???
post #8 of 18
I think a shower is DEFINATELY in order here. The prepaid credit cards are a good idea but perhaps they could all make arrangements to bring cash or something to the party to put all the money on one prepaid card for a little more convenience. Its might be a bit of a pain to carry around 15 different prepaid visas with 20 or 30 bucks each on them!
post #9 of 18
I would just print out on a seperate sheet of paper (you can cut it down to fit inside the invitations) a few key pieces of info. Here's an example:

As most of you know Jane & Jim are moving to Japan in September and have already shipped all of their belongings, they will not be able to bring much else with them. If you would like to purchase a gift, please have it shipped to 123 Bradley Place, Japan. Otherwise, gift cards and such would be most appreciated. Thank you so much for your consideration in this matter! Can't wait to see you there to celebrate the newest addition to the Johnson family!

I think that this would be fine given their situation. It is not fair to expect them to pay astronomical shipping for multiple items, when they are expecting a child. Most people will just adjust the gift accordingly, they were gonna spend $50, but it costs $10 to ship, so they will spend $40, etc or just get them a gift card, in which the shipping can come out of the gift card balance, so there will be no $ out of pocket for the new mom. Good luck!
post #10 of 18
i never heard of those prepaid visas but that sounds wonderful!
Youre such a wonderful friend!
post #11 of 18
I think a baby shower is a great idea for her and the pre-payed cards sound like the way to go. But I don't think I'd do it. Personally, I'd be concerned, being she'll be only 5 months along. I know people who have miscarried this far along and it was very tramatic for them, without having already had a shower for the baby. I think that if she's going to be coming home to visit family shortly after the baby is born, it'd be a better idea. Maybe I'm just being too negative, but it's something else you might want to think about.
post #12 of 18
I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but has anyone dealt with those prepaid cards? I tried to get one for my daughter last Christmas, and it was a huge pain in the rear. You have to pay your money, wait 2 weeks until they give you a permanent card, in the meantime they give you a little plactic card that can only be used at ATMS in a certain area, and every time they use it, there is a $2-$5 fee. If you are going to do that, make sure you have your duckies in a row weeks before, because it is not as simple as just walking in, paying your money, getting a card and leaving. They even gave me a problem because I wanted someone else's name on it. I could not make them understand that it was a gift. I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I would hate to have you go through this a day or so before your shower and ruin your plans.
post #13 of 18
My mother got my husband and I one for Christmas, and my Dad gets them every year. They are VISA, but come from our local bank. I beleive they had to pay a $5 activation, but beyond that, no fees! I never tried the ATM thing, I spent them on items. AMEX offers traveller's cheques in the pre-paid credit card form, so surely they would be designed to be used fee free throughout the world. It would take a little bit of research and time to find out which one is the best in this situation, but I still like my idea!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
I think you have the right idea.
Her mother doesn't sound very nice-isn't she excited that she is going to be a grandmother???
It's the first grandbaby too...but that is just how her mother is.

To answer LunaLou's post, she won't be comming home for at least 6 months, if not longer. She told me her plane ticket out there was over $800 (we live on the east coast of the us) and with the baby being born technically in another country, the military has told her there are restrictions on traveling with the baby without shots. So if she stayed here to have the baby in Jan, she couldn't join her husband in Japan till the baby has all the shots it needs, which can't all be administered when they are so small. And in reverse, she can't fly home till he/she is properly vaccinated. So it's either have a shower now or she wont have one at all.
post #15 of 18
Why not have everyone just contribute whatever they would spend into a pool, and give her the cash in one lump sum? Then she can spend it on baby things without having any concerns about what is accepted where.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2
I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but has anyone dealt with those prepaid cards? I tried to get one for my daughter last Christmas, and it was a huge pain in the rear. You have to pay your money, wait 2 weeks until they give you a permanent card, in the meantime they give you a little plactic card that can only be used at ATMS in a certain area, and every time they use it, there is a $2-$5 fee. If you are going to do that, make sure you have your duckies in a row weeks before, because it is not as simple as just walking in, paying your money, getting a card and leaving. They even gave me a problem because I wanted someone else's name on it. I could not make them understand that it was a gift. I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I would hate to have you go through this a day or so before your shower and ruin your plans.
I have a pre-paid master card.which I use all the time,by Green Dot,yes you have to pay cash to put money on the card.But you don't have to put a name on it when you buy it.And you can use it right away ,with out waiting for your plactic card,online ,over the phone,you get all the info,right away,when you activate it.I have never had any trouble using mine and I have had it 2 years. I never used it at a Atm,don't know aything about that,with mine I pay a $4.00 monthy fee.I live in VA and make car payments in NY ,with mine. I just call them and they run it,no problems.I also buy on e-bay with it.
post #17 of 18
I love the idea of prepaid card or some sort of electronic gift card. Since this is her first child why don't you have the guests that have had children print out a picture of what helped them the most with thier newborns and all the guest a picture of what they would have gotten her for the baby. That way she could "open her gifts" and get some advice from parents on what she might need. Maybe you can morph this into a game of sorts. I know all the baby showers I have gone to half the fun was all the different ideas and advice that were given to the new mother.

Tricia
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachytoday
I love the idea of prepaid card or some sort of electronic gift card. Since this is her first child why don't you have the guests that have had children print out a picture of what helped them the most with thier newborns and all the guest a picture of what they would have gotten her for the baby. That way she could "open her gifts" and get some advice from parents on what she might need. Maybe you can morph this into a game of sorts. I know all the baby showers I have gone to half the fun was all the different ideas and advice that were given to the new mother.

Tricia
What a great idea! That sounds like a lot of fun.
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